Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – We have new information following numerous reports of bank account fraud in Southwest Louisiana. 7News has heard numerous complaints from viewers who say they were told their checking accounts may have been involved in a data breach after paying their property taxes.
Essentially, when you pay your property taxes, you mail the check to the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office. They in turn send the money to First Horizon Bank (formerly IberiaBank), which then uses a third party to process the payments. We are told that the third party, Technology Management Resources, is the one that may have been compromised.
“CPSO has been informed by IberiaBank that its third-party service provider Lockbox, Technology Management Resources, Inc. (TMR), may have had a security breach; the breach did not involve the CPSO’s database or computer systems,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement Friday.
The sheriff’s office says it is working with First Horizon to provide the necessary contact information to notify affected ratepayers. These individual taxpayers do their personal banking at various banks, so across the region we are seeing customers having to close and reopen accounts to ensure they are protected. Some of those affected use First Federal Bank in Lake Charles, which tells 7News it helps its customers secure their information:
“First Federal Bank is fully aware of the external data breach affecting the checking accounts of several financial institutions in our region, and this breach is not the fault of any of the financial institutions involved, including First Federal Bank. was discovered, steps have been taken to minimize the effect of the breach to protect our customers. We actively identify all compromised accounts and work with customers as quickly as possible to close affected accounts and re-open new ones. new ones safely. We thank all of our customers for their patience during this stressful time. Law enforcement is actively investigating this incident.
We would like to reiterate that the breach affected multiple banks, as it affected the person the taxpayer is banking with.
The Sheriff’s Office is also reiterating what it previously released on Thursday, June 16:
“The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office has not experienced any potential hack or data breach regarding any of our database information.
The Sheriff’s Office is the collector of property taxes paid in Calcasieu Parish. A banking institution deposits property tax payments collected by the sheriff’s office. The banking institution has notified the sheriff’s office that a third party used by it has suffered a probable data breach in the third party’s database. Due to the likely breach, those who paid their taxes by check may be a victim and their control information may have been exposed.
Again, the sheriff’s office suffered no database breaches. The banking institution and/or its third-party contractor, which owned and maintained the hacked database, is the party responsible for notifying those who may have been victims of the breach. »
Although this violation involves tax payments, we are told that the Calcasieu Parish Tax Assessor’s Office plays no role. The tax assessor is only responsible for assessing the amount each owner pays, but does not collect or process any payments.
7News contacted Technology Management Resources, Inc., but a representative declined to comment. We have also contacted First Horizon Bank for comment and have not yet received a response.
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